From dusk till dawn (Abierto hasta el amanecer)

Contact name: 
Fernandez Hermida, JR, Secades Villa R
Joca (Juventud Obrera Cristiana de Asturias)



In 1996 Joca did a survey with 680 youngsters who live in the neighboorhoud of Gijon. They found that recreation and employment are two big problems.


To prevent youngsters from using drugs and alcohol by giving them other possibilities to entertain themselves in the night-time on weekends


To provide an alternative way to entertain youngsters in the night-time on weekends (sport, cultural, recreational)


The participation in the program seems to have no effect on the measured variables: drug use, leisure habits and attitude towards drugs. The program is very well accepted and valuated by youngsters, but there is no prove on its efficacy as a preventive program.

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Problem addressed
Illegal drugs, Alcohol
Intervention setting
Higher education or university
Student pubs
Youth clubs
Target population

Youth between 14-20 years

Substances adressed
All substances
Strategic target group (social agents acting as intermediaries between intervention and target group)

The programme is managed from start to finish by young people

Intervention activities
Alternative leisure activities
All of the activities are free and are designed to be attractive to young people and to match their constantly changing interests. The activities take place at night-time on the weekend as this is the time when the majority of young people have free time and engage in leisure activities and it is when there are no other alternatives to the most common pastimes. Activities take place in cultural, educational and sport centres throughout the whole city, with there sometimes being 15 facilities all open at the same time each night.The programme does not allow drug use nor does it permit participation under the influence of drugs, and an attempt is made to convey the idea that it is possible to have fun without needing to use any sort of substance, and above all, that no one should decide for the young person how they should enjoy themselves, but rather they should be the ones to make their own choices. This has perhaps been the most contentious issue of From Dusk till Dawn over the years. The programme did not originally aim to specifically prevent drug addiction, although this was implicit in stating that during the activities drugs must not be consumed. Over time, it became evident that it was necessary to explicitly introduce the prevention of drug addiction into the objectives of the programme and therefore this was done.
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

This programme is based on the facts that:

  • It is necessary to provide young people with the knowledge and resources needed to make these decisions (using drugs).
  • People that don't do drugs can find alternative ways to spend their leisure time or learn how to deal with peer pressure and stay firm on their decision.
Number of people needed
More than 200 youngsters have worked in the programme
Time required to run
In the weekend nights during the whole year
Other resource requirements

Sports, cultural and recreational centers who want to open at night on weekends.

Evaluation details

Evaluation type (e.g. process, outcome, cost-effectiveness)
External outcome evaluation (2001). The design used was pre-experimental, with a control group and pre- and post-intervention measurement.
Activities evaluated

Socio-demographic data

  • drug consumption (frequency and quantity)
  • Risk factors for drug consumption: leisure habits, risk perception, attitudes towards drug consumption.
  • Consequences of taking drugs: drunkenness, drunk driving, violence.
  • Assessment of the program Abierto hasta el amanecer
Type of evaluator (e.g. external consultant, internal evaluator)
Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

Main results:

  • Use of the leisure time: Youngsters in the experimental group are more active and creative than those in the control group, but there are no significant differences in the chances to go out at night, to meet friends and drink alcohol or in going out for other activities during weekend between both groups.
  • Drug use: subjects in the experimental group smoke more than those from the control group. In alcohol consumption, there are not significant differences during the week neither at weekend. Also no differences were found in number of drunkenness Only analysing by gender, woman in the experimental group showed lower levels of alcohol consumption during the weekend.. In relation to other drugs, levels of use are very small, and no differences appear between groups.
  • Attitudes towards drugs: no significant differences were found between groups for any related variable to this issue.

Comparing pre and post measures in the experimental group vs. control group:

  • No significant differences between groups in the use of the leisure time.
  • No significant differences in drug use (neither in alcohol use during weekend) comparing pre and post measures in any group (so, also no differences between groups).
  • No significant differences between groups in reference to attitude towards drugs
  • Assessment of the program by the users: More than 70% say that activities were interesting, they belief that it help to promote relations between youngsters, dont care about recommending it to friends, and to come back in next editions of the program. About 95% think that the program is good or very good.